We are happy to report that spring is on its way to Sendai! We have seen one tree in blossom, but most are not yet. We hear that the trees have blossomed south of here.
On Monday, we traveled to Odate and Hirosaki to close down the apartments and deliver some bikes to Aomori. It was like going back in time....
to Winter! Around Sendai, the farmers are getting their fields ready for planting, but up north, the fields are still covered in snow.
This was the Sister's apartment in Odate. We had a storage place to put the furniture, etc so it was a fairly easy job. (Only 6 trips back and forth.)
The elders had prepared well for the move and helped put everything away well. The best things ended up going into their apartment!
We had to cross a train track going to the other apartment. There is also a crossing guard rail for the pedestrians. It made us stop even before the train got into the station.
There is the little train depot. Just a little open air stop here.
Only two cars on this train.
Then we went on to Hirosaki. First, we decided to have lunch at "Pepe's Kitchen." We had heard it was the best hamburger you can get in Japan.
Do I look happy or what? They even played oldies (US) on the radio. Kind of reminded me of the Hukilau Cafe in Laie.
The Hirosaki elder's apartment had been used for a long time. Mostly by elders. It was a big apartment and it was full of old clothes, old bedding and other stuff. It took probably 10 van loads to get everything moved out. Some of it went to the "trash incinerator" place (dump). Alan said the dump was really neat. He'll take me there sometime to take photos to share!
Looked pretty good when we got it emptied out. This one wore us out. Lots of the stuff ended up in the parking garage at the church. The ward members will take care of it from there. The elders moved into the sister's apartment since there are no sisters there now.
Then we drove up to Aomori to give the sisters a bike, and then back to Hirosaki for the night. Good thing we were tired!
It had snowed in the night, so it slowed us down a little, but we were on our way again. We had planned to stop in Hachinohe, but decided to skip that due to the snow storm. So, we went on to Morioka to check on the Sister's apartment there.
This apartment is in really good shape. We didn't feel like we could handle moving all this stuff because it is all worth keeping. Here's hoping we get some more sisters (or a couple) soon! In the mean time, there are some conferences coming up, so it can be used for that.
The next place that needed an apartment closed was in Furukawa.
The senior couple that was here has gone home. The elders that live nearby had moved most everything to the storage at the church by the time we got there. We were able to get everything put away and ready to close this one. We brought the washer and dryer back to Sendai to take to another apartment (Elder A and Elder T took it to Yonezawa on Friday).
We made it back to the office late Tuesday afternoon. The missionaries from Nagamachi were getting started on their ipad training. One of the elders asked me if we were sick. Well,,, no, but we've been working kind of hard. Nice of you to ask though! We did look pretty beat up!
We had missed the family home evening on Monday. They were able to show "Meet the Mormons". But we did make it to Eikaiwa on Wednesday.
We played "Do You Love Your Neighbor?" It was fun. We only have two (young) native English speakers now.
At church today, we had an emergency drill. We all practiced evacuation routes. And learned how to use a fire extinguisher.
Coming up in the next few weeks, the Smith's are delivering the ipads to all the different areas and getting started on the training for that. Exciting times!
And here are our three girls (and two of our little angels) with three of my sister's girls at a bridal shower this weekend. How fun that they were able to get together!
And a special shout out to my sister Portia and her husband Rob on their calling to the Argentina Cordoba Temple Mission! ¡Felicidades!